First Trip into Puerto Vallarta

We had some gifts that we wanted to post, and more importantly a check that I had to send in before the end of the year to pay the HOA fees on my sister's house, so on Friday, before the Latcho/Andrea gig, we took the bus into old PV and endeavored to find the only post office in town.

After the bus let us off about two miles short of our goal, we walked along the Malecon to where the Moon Handbook had said we would find the post office. However, when we got there, the Post Office had apparently been replaced by a candystore. We asked the folks working there where the post office was, and they said it was about a mile back in the direction from which we had come. So we backtracked the distance, this time on the back streets, getting a different glimpse of Old PV.

It's a funny thing about the postal service here in Mexico. It's practically non-existent from an American's point of view. I guess most Mexicans don't send things thru the mail like we do in the U.S. I have come to take for granted that you can go into any one of many post offices in any major US city, drop something in the mail, maybe using priority mail, and it will quickly speed along it's way to the recipient. Not so in Mexico.

In Mazatlan, we had searched all over for the post office, and, as in La Paz, there was exactly one. There are no "Mailboxes Etc" that will affix postage and forward them to the regular mail service (although such places do exist, they only use UPS or DHL, and DON'T do regular Mexican mail). Here, La Cruz has no Post Office, and we were told that Bucerias, the next town over, also had no Post Office, so we ended up having to take the bus almost 17 miles, and walk an additional 2 miles to get to the only Post Office in the area, in old Puerto Vallarta. Even then, it was a small place, with a single counter and one clerk, and it cost me almost $60 to mail 4 small packages to the US. It took almost an hour for the clerk to fill out the papers and get the mail on it's way, a far cry from the service that we're used to in the U.S.

However, it was a nice day, and we did get to see a little of old PV on the adventure. On the way back we stopped at a sidewalk cafe for a beer, and then stopped at a grocery store and loaded up with what provisions we could reasonably carry before hoofing it back to the bus back to La Cruz that Friday.

Finally, for what it's worth, and for completeness, On Monday, Christmas Eve, the day after the Ana Banana's jam, I went over to Latcho and Andrea's house and spent about 3 hours helping them learn how to use their tape recorder. They were very thankful, and in the process we made two more close friends in La Cruz.

So that's the story of our first week in La Cruz!